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Rehman Sobhan’s memoir launched at Dhaka Lit Fest

Inserted: 15:04, Saturday 21 November 2015

Rehman Sobhan’s memoir launched at Dhaka Lit Fest - National
Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, Professor Rehman Sobhan and Dr Kamal Hossain at the book launching ceremony.

Dhaka: Professor Rehman Sobhan’s memoir Untranquil Recollections: The Years of Fulfilment by Sage Publications was launched at the DLF Friday through a panel discussion, titled “The march to independence.”

The discussion was moderated by editor and publisher of The Daily Star, Mahfuz Anam, and the discussants included Professor Rehman Sobhan and Dr Kamal Hossain, eminent lawyer and former Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

Untranquil Recollections: The Years of Fulfilment is a memoir of the professor of economics who narrates stories about the historical events of Bangladesh from personal experience. It details the transitions of politics, economy and the country itself during the crucial years of the 60s and 70s and talks about the birth of the nationalist movement which later translated into an independent Bangladesh.

At the session, Professor Sobhan talked about his transition from being an economist engaged in political economy to a politician economist.

Clarifying that political economy for the economics students is a discipline in the economics profession that discusses the interface of political roles in influencing economic decisions, the author admits that he was never a pure economist. But as he became increasingly engaged in the nationalist movement and was interacting with his Pakistani colleagues, attending conferences and meetings with the panel of economists, he had by then become much more overtly involved in the political process. It was during a meeting with the panel of economists in 1970 when he was discovered as a political economist. “I was very aggressive in my argument and everyone in that conference room felt that I was there, and one of the Pakistani economists from the panel got very agitated and said, ‘You are no more an economist engaged in political economy, you’ve become a politician economist,’ and I thought to myself that that was the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid to me,” recalls Sobhan, admitting that he had feared no one would ever discover his political engagements.

At yesterday’s session, the discussants talked about how, as an adviser and confidante to Bangabandhu, Rehman Sobhan committed to creating a political consciousness in the country prior to the Liberation War.

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